A journalist recently contacted windaction.org with questions about Colorado’s latest wind project… The project is massive by any measure and the largest considered by the state. Yet, according to the reporter, no one local has raised any concerns which explains the call. Even the reporter — a freelancer from New Jersey where just five turbines (9 MW) spin — admitted having no idea wind had issues.
And why would anyone …?
Big media coverage is dominated by feel-good stories of cheap renewables (and now, apparently, cheap storage) overtaking coal and nuclear. The press, prodded by industry mouthpieces, never misses an opportunity to advocate for federal and state subsidies and their sister mandates that spur green ‘investment’ and leave the public believing that a world of all renewables, all the time is almost here.
Nice vision, but far from real. In fact, with each oversized, out-of-scale, in-your-face wind project presented, scores of people join the not-so-quiet “war on wind” raging nationwide. For proof, just look at a few of the news stories from the last 45 days: (go to original article to click on each state and go to their links)
1) In Indiana, a judge ruled Rush County’s decision to impose larger safety setback distances on the Flat Rock wind facility (180 MW) was reasonable to protect health and preserve property values. The decision is likely to end the project. Another suit pending in Fayette Circuit Court against a NextEra project argues the decommissioning plan violates county regulations. And in Henry County, the Planning Commission denied two applications to erect meteorological towers used for measuring wind speed and direction. The towers are the first step in siting a wind project. Each vote to deny was met with applause and a standing ovation from the public.
2) Blowback over wind turbines impairing military operations prompted the North Carolina state senate to pass a bill restricting turbine sites… Similar concerns are being raised in New York and Texas, where the Texas legislature is also considering a bill to protect military base missions.
3) A proposal to erect 2-dozen turbines standing up to 660-feet tall in Cumberland County, Tennessee has outraged residents and caught the attention of Senator Lamar Alexander, Congresswoman Diane Black, State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) and Representative Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), all of whom are united in their opposition to the project…
4) Wyoming’s Joint Revenue Committee has asked its staff to draft two bills that would increase taxes on wind, including one that would require wind developers to transfer a portion of the federal wind production tax credit to state coffers…
5) In Vermont, the electorate is inflamed over the visual, environmental and health impacts of the spinning towers. Governor Peter Shumlin has been described as one who “loves wind turbines and hates the people who live next to them.” He is leaving office this year to the delight of many. At least three of the candidates vying for his seat – Bruce Lisman, Peter Galbraith, Brooke Paige – are openly running on a ‘NO Wind’ platform.
We could go on describing the intense fights now happening in (go to original article to click on each state)New York, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts … you get the picture. But don’t expect big media to notice. After all, these fights don’t fit the national narrative honed by the wind industry that up-plays the image of turbines operating in concert with man and nature and downplays, or flatly denies the harms. While big media and big wind are busy forcing the vision they want, communities are taking aggressive action to limit wind’s negative impacts and will ultimately lead to far fewer projects being built.